We are officially in the thick of the holiday season, and if you work in sales or retail, you’re probably – desperately – looking for a way to slip a “Help me!” or “Save me!” note to random people… That, or you’re just trying to find time to sneak into the bathroom so you can read a comic book in peace. I may, or may not, do both of these things for the mere sake of my sanity. Unfortunately, DC seems to be hellbent on tearing their books and characters down at the moment, so I should probably take some egg nog and brandy with me into the bathroom… What?

Alright, on to business. This week’s releases are listed according to our anticipation scale, with titles listed in alphabetical order within each sub-header. For each title, I’ll include the official solicitation, the talent credits, a random comment (or rant), and the Batman News team member that will be reviewing each book. Following that, you’ll find notes pertaining to other DC Comics titles, as well as our Graphic Novel Watch. And finally, we want to hear from you! What titles are you picking up? Why are you excited? What do you hope will happen in the book? Etc. So, without further ado, review our Anticipation Scale, and comment away!

The Anticipation Scale

NO! – A comic I downright dread reading and if I wasn’t a reviewer, I would never buy it.

“You Don’t Have to Thank Us” – The idea of reviewing it doesn’t make me ill or angry, but it definitely sounds like it’s going to be a chore. Still, I’m reading it for you. I’m putting it at the bottom of the pile, but I’m reading it for you.

Mixed – A middle of the pile comic. It’s probably got the same chance of being dreadful as it does of being stupendous. I’m neither looking forward to it or avoiding it, whatever happens… happens.

Intrigued – I think this comic has potential to be a fantastic read. There’s some slight hesitation there, but it’s definitely going to be at the top of the pile.

TAKE MY MONEY – Everything about this issue has me excited. If I don’t get to read this book on Wednesday, I will be furious. I would pay extra just to have it in my hands right now! That’s how much I’m looking forward to it!

And as a reminder, our review scale is based on a 10-point system. A rating of “5” means the book is mediocre/average, and the more toward “10″ we go, the more awesome/worth buying it is. The more toward “1″ we go the more awful/not worth buying it is. That’s how we rate things. It’s not like most video game review scores where everything under 8 is crap, and it’s not like a school report card where everything under a 7 is failing or close-to-failing. Please keep this in mind when reading our reviews.

DECEMBER 4th

TAKE MY MONEY

Justice League #37
“Justice/Doom War” part eight! The Justice League is making their final push against Perpetua, but some players they previously counted as allies may have been working for the other side the whole time! Who among Perpetua’s children will betray them and join Lex Luthor’s war on justice?

Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Jimenez
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Cover by Francis Manapul

Josh’s Stance: The last two issues have been particularly strong, so I’m really looking forward to this! Snyder and team have been promising big, bombastic action, so let’s see if they deliver.

Batman-News Critic: Brian

 

INTRIGUED

Batman Universe #6
In the conclusion to Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derington’s DCU-spanning saga, Batman’s mind is trapped in the unlikeliest of places- inside a White Lantern ring! That would be bad enough, but his physical body is stuck on Earth, completely vulnerable to attack from his enemies. Good news: Batman’s freed when the White Lantern ring chooses a new recipient. Bad news: that “new recipient” is Vandal Savage. Originally published in Batman Giant #13 and #14.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by Nick Derington
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Nick Derington

Josh’s Stance: Batman Universe continues to be one of the most entertaining and fun books that DC’s releasing, and it’s so out there that you genuinely never know what you’re going to get… For those reasons, I’m looking forward to this!

Batman-News Critic: Jay

 

MIXED

New Year’s Evil #1
Why hello there, readers! It’s your Uncle Joker letting you know that this year’s DC winter holiday special is not for the good guys. It’s all about the folks on Santa’s naughty list! Folks like me, Sinestro, Toyman, Harley Quinn, and even an appearance from that timely rascal the Calendar Man. Come sledding with your favorite villains in 10 fantastic tales created by comics’ finest talents. They’re not as funny as me, mind you, but it’s important that we be charitable this time of year.

Written by Vita Ayala, Corinna Sara Bechko, Kurt Busiek, Eric M. Esquivel, Christos N. Gage, and more
Pencils and Inks by Aneke, Elena Casagrande, Dale Eaglesham, Gabriel Hardman, Sumit Kumar, and more
Colored by Hi-Fi, Michael Atiyeh, Jordie Bellaire, Tamra Bonvillain, Jeromy Cox, and more
Cover by Jim Cheung and Tomeu Morey

Josh’s Stance: Will this be great?… Probably not. BUT, if you come into these holiday collections knowing you’re going to get a mixed back, then they tend to be quite enjoyable. Set your expectations, and just have fun with some sweet, short stories.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

The Infected: Deathbringer #1
Donna Troy is a hero. She fought alongside friends, led the Titans into battle, and buried more friends in the line of duty than she cares to remember. She’s strong, she’s brave, she’s one of the fiercest warriors on the planet…and she’s the Batman Who Laughs’ next target for infection! Spinning out of the events of The Batman Who Laughs and Batman/Superman comes the story of a hero who is done with bringing peace to a world that cannot be trusted with it. A woman who’s past has been her greatest adversary, and whose newly awakened dark side is ready to burn it all down and forge a new destiny. No more peace. Only…Deathbringer!

Written by Zoe Quinn
Pencils and Inks by Brent Peeples
Colored by Arif Prianto
Cover by Viktor Bogdanovic

Josh’s Stance: The only reason this is in my “Mixed” rating is because I’m not familiar with Zoe Quinn. Nothing would make me happier than to read this and say, “Get her on a regular schedule!!!” so I’m hoping for a good, quality story.

Batman-News Critic: Casper

 

Young Justice #11
Young Justice returns! Home! To Earth! Finally! Just in time to confront all of their big issues-like S.T.A.R. Labs! Moms and dads! Naomi! Jinny Hex’s trunk! And yes, each other! This starts the wild wind-up to Wonder Comics’ first year as the truth behind S.T.A.R. Labs and the reunion of Young Justice is revealed!

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Inks by John Timms
Colored by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Gabe Eltaeb and John Timms

Josh’s Stance: While I tend to enjoy Young Justice, I never feel an urgency to read it right away, nor am I ever excited to read it. I simply read it, think, “Yeah, that was decent,” then move on to my next book. That’s the best way I can sum this title up, so… yeah.  However, I am extremely excited to see the team return home!

Batman-News Critic: Matina

 

NO!

Batman #84
“City of Bane” chapter eleven! The end is near as one victory leads to another defeat. As Batman reclaims his city from Bane, can he regain his sense of family? More specifically, when a man who is your father from another dimension has torn everything down around you, what will it take to build it back up? Especially when that man is currently staring you in the face and threatening to punch it. The final battle for Gotham City…and the cowl of the Caped Crusader…starts here!

Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Jorge Fornes
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Mikel Janin

Josh’s Stance: Look, this is what it is… Let’s just take it and move on.

Batman-News Critic: Josh

 

Harley Quinn #68
When Harley’s first Christmas without her mother proves more difficult than she anticipated, she leaves Coney Island and heads to the most holiday-free zone she can imagine: Los Angeles! Looking to forget about her troubles for a little while, Harley dives headfirst into the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown… but finds something unexpected in the process-her holiday spirit!

Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils and Inks by Sami Basri
Colored by Hi-Fi
Cover by Guillem March and Arif Prianto

Josh’s Stance: I’m interested in most of the Black Label depictions of Harley – and incredibly excited for Tom Taylor to get his hands on her again with his upcoming Suicide Squad – but I feel as though this depiction has run it’s course. Nobody has been able to live up to the slapstick humor that Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner was able to create, and it just seems exhausting to keep trying.

Batman-News Critic: Matina

 

NOTES:

  • Additional releases from DC Comics: Collapser #6, Deathstroke #50, The Dreaming #16, Green Lantern: Blackstars #2, Inferior Five #4, Lois Lane #6, Superman: Up in the Sky #6, and Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me #6.

 

GRAPHIC NOVEL WATCH:

Justice League by Scott Snyder Book One Deluxe Edition – The Justice League is reunited in these stories from issues #1-13, Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 and Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1. First, the League is forced to make an impossible decision…and now it’s time to face the consequences! And then, Hawkgirl takes wing against Lex Luthor; John Stewart faces off with Sinestro; the Flash must run down Gorilla Grodd; and Wonder Woman tackles Black Manta and the Cheetah-Underwater!

 

Teen Titans/ Deathstroke: The Terminus Agenda – The hunter becomes the hunted as the Teen Titans set out to end Deathstroke once and for all in these tales from Deathstroke #41-43 and Teen Titans #28-30. Deathstroke’s body count has grown even higher after murdering his therapist en route to escaping from Arkham Asylum, which prompts Commissioner Gordon to expose Slade’s identity as Deathstroke to the public! Now the world’s most wanted criminal, the walls are closing in on Slade Wilson, and the Teen Titans lie in wait…Is there any hope of escape?